But Virginia Republicans are taking the state to court on July 19 to try to roll back these changes, and restore the Reformation-era felon disenfranchisement law. The conservative officials are arguing not only that the governor’s order violates the state constitution, but that it hurts them personally. They told the court that allowing ex-offenders to vote in the 2016 presidential election would “dilute” their own votes, “injure” them, “and undermine the legitimacy of the election.”
“These ongoing, coordinated efforts to register unqualified voters have diluted Petitioners’ votes, created an illegitimate electorate, and threatened the legitimacy of the November elections,” their impending lawsuit states.
If their case at the Virginia Supreme Court succeeds, the governor would no longer be able to restore the rights of newly-released, and the thousands of Virginians who have already registered to vote could once again lose the ability to vote.
Republicans asked for the case to be expedited to prevent ex-offenders from voting in this November’s presidential election.